Followers of cold therapy claim that this form of supercooling the body can reduce pain, boost muscle recovery, and even promote weight loss. Here’s what the research and experts say.

Health Benefits of Cryotherapy Chambers

Cryotherapy, a form of cold therapy, has gained momentum in recent years. Many professional athletes and celebrities have said they turn to intense body cooling methods for therapeutic purposes.

The most popular forms of cold therapy include cold water therapy, such as ice baths and ice water dives, and whole body cryotherapy, which uses air, not water. water, to achieve potentially therapeutic results. Cryotherapy consists of brief sessions in a small cooled chamber at temperatures between minus 90 and minus 150 degrees C.
Proponents of these cold therapies claim that they can relieve chronic pain, speed up muscle recovery, aid weight loss, relieve depression, and more.

Possible Benefits of Therapeutic Cryotherapy

1. May Boost Muscle Recovery After Exercise

Cryotherapy is often used to speed muscle recovery after exercise. To understand why, we must first understand what happens in the body when it is cooled and warmed. First, your body responds to the cold by constricting your blood vessels (known as vasoconstriction), sending all your blood to your organs. When this happens, your blood acquires more oxygen and nutrients. Then, once you leave the cold and your body warms up again, your blood vessels dilate (this is called vasodilation), returning oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to your tissues. This increased blood flow flushes out inflammation and toxins built up during training, which helps jump-start recovery.

For example, a Chinese study published in February 2021 in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that cryotherapy reduced muscle damage and inflammation in middle and long distance runners better than other forms of cryotherapy and than the absence of cryotherapy (control). Unfortunately, the study was small (only 12 runners), so it’s hard to say how these results might apply to larger populations.

That said, previous studies have also reported a decrease in muscle pain and inflammation with the use of cryotherapy after exercise, according to an earlier opinion piece. However, the authors of another systematic review concluded that there was insufficient evidence to determine whether GBM actually promotes recovery after exercise better than rest.

2. May Improve Sleep

Based on current data, cryotherapy may improve sleep. For example, the aforementioned Chinese study of middle- and long-distance runners not only found that cryotherapy reduced post-exercise muscle damage and inflammation, but also that subjects had better sleep quality. after cryotherapy than after other forms of cryotherapy.

Researchers speculate that cryotherapy can help us sleep by helping to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the “rest and digest” side of the autonomic nervous system, which takes over the management of your bodily functions when we feel calm and safe, explains the Cleveland Clinic. And when the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, we tend to be in a relaxed state. However, more research is needed to determine if and how cryotherapy can improve sleep in non-athletic populations, and larger studies are needed to better understand the relationship between cold therapy and sleep quality.

3. May Improve Chronic Pain

Cryotherapy can relieve chronic pain in two different ways. First, cold is a known short-term analgesic (or pain reliever). Think about it: Placing an ice pack on a sprained ankle. Scientists believe cold works by slowing nerve transmission (when a nerve sends a signal to the brain) in pain cells, according to research published December 2020 in Pain and Therapy.

Cryotherapy can also alleviate pain by reducing inflammation, a hallmark of inflammation-related chronic pain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis (an inflammatory disease of the spine), according to a research paper published in December. 2019 in Nature Medicine.

In fact, after reviewing 25 studies, the authors of the 2020 review in Pain and Therapy concluded that cryotherapy could be an easy, low-risk option for managing chronic pain. In particular, pain associated with chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Cryotherapy and the application of ice are the two methods of cryotherapy that have provided pain relief. However, research on the long-term effects of cryotherapy on chronic pain, and more standardized treatment protocols, are needed.

4. May Treat Certain Chronic Skin Conditions

Cryotherapy may also help reduce inflammation and relieve itching in people with atopic dermatitis (eczema), a chronic skin condition characterized by dry, inflamed skin. In a small study, 16 adults with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis underwent a session at -95 degrees C for one to three minutes, three times a week for one month. Symptoms of atopic dermatitis improved for most patients, although the study sample was too small to draw meaningful conclusions.

5. May Promote Weight Loss

Spending time in the cold can speed up your metabolism as your body works to stay warm. Theoretically, if you increase your calorie burn, you might be able to create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight. In a study published in April 2021 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16 lean control women and 15 obese women were subjected to decencies, for five days. At the end of the study, lean women burned 8.2% more calories at rest (known as resting energy expenditure), while obese women burned 5.5% more calories at rest than on the first day.

Uses and Health Benefits of Medical Cryotherapy

Some forms of cryotherapy, namely cryoablation or cryosurgery (a surgical procedure using extreme cold) are used for medical purposes by surgeons and other types of board-certified healthcare providers, and for specific procedures to treat certain conditions. For example, a dermatologist may use cryoablation to treat abnormal tissue, and some surgeons may use this technique to destroy certain cancers. It is important to note that cryoablation is a different form of cryotherapy from the healing and supportive approaches discussed above. That said, here are two medical benefits of cryotherapy techniques used in a clinical setting:

1. Treat certain cancers

Cryotherapy is a common method of treating certain cancers, including those of the prostate and liver. This therapy, called cryoablation, involves freezing tumor cells inside the body. Tumor cells cannot survive extreme cold and die as a result, according to an earlier research paper.

Cryoablation is a minimally invasive procedure. To do this, the doctor inserts an instrument called a cryoprobe through a small incision in the skin and applies cold (a substance like liquid nitrogen or argon gas) using a spray device.

However, cryoablation can only be used to treat tumors that are visible by imaging tests, such as mammograms. Also, doctors still don’t know how cryoablation might control cancer or impact long-term life expectancy.

2. Treat abnormal skin tissue

Cryotherapy is also sometimes used to treat benign (noncancerous), precancerous skin tissue. Freezing specific areas of skin causes the skin to blister and peel off, allowing new, healthy skin to grow in its place.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.